Samples – Salted Oat Nutella Bar
Italian Rainbow Cookie
Lemon Ricotta Cookie
Chocolate Chip Cookie
Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips and Pecans
Apple Walnut Muffin
Lemon Olive Oil Cake
Something like a miniature Eataly, Centrolina Mercato e Osteria opened at CityCenterDC in mid-2015, the space from Amy Brandwein combining a small Market and Restaurant immediately making waves with locals and gaining national notoriety after the Chef received a James Beard Foundation nomination for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic just two years later.
Described as “Regional Italian” in its approach, a somewhat nebulous term whose definition seems to mean ‘wide ranging’ both in terms of the Restaurant’s Appetizers, Pastas and Entrees crafted from seasonal ingredients as well as the Market’s collection of imported Meats, local Produce and Pastries crafted by Caitlin Dysart, it was en route to National Harbor that a brief visit was made to the quick-stop counter and Coffee Bar on Tuesday morning, the staff efficient but lacking any personality as questions were answered with six Cookies and Cakes packed to go.
Tapping a team of talented women to be in charge, Pastry Chef Dysart also a former JBF nominee for her work at 2941 Restaurant in Falls Church, it was with the salty smack of a chewy Nutella-Oat Bar sample still lingering on the lips that additional items were unboxed upon arrival at the Conference Center some thirty-five minutes later, first bites of the delicate Lemon Ricotta Cookie finding it slightly chewy and plenty sweet while a slice of Olive Oil Cake upped the ante in terms of Citrus amidst a loose crumb with a fragrant herbal linger.
Progressing from Fruit to Chocolate while attempting to save bites for family, a task that would unfortunately prove futile as relates to the lighter than expected Apple Walnut Muffin chock-a-block full of both ingredients in what seemed to be a 1:1 ratio, it was onward from here that teeth sank into a slice of Banana Bread that was unfortunately far too dry to be enjoyed without Milk or Coffee, the Chocolate Chip Cookie far better with a light hint of Cinnamon and Vanilla on the finish and the classic Italian Rainbow Cookie as good as one might think it gets…until they taste the supersized Cake version at All Purpose Pizza.